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May 4, 1929


JAMA. 1929;92(18):1533-1534. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700440041021

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The Spread of Cerebrospinal Meningitis by Carriers  In a monograph on the "Meningococcus" issued by the Medical Research Council, Mr. E. G. D. Murray, lecturer in pathology at Cambridge, says that at least 95 per cent of all cases of cerebrospinal fever result from contact not with previous cases but with so-called healthy carriers. He defines a carrier of the disease as one with an infected nasopharynx who has not developed meningitis, or one who, having recovered, persists in retaining the nasopharyngeal infection. Within six weeks 90 per cent of primary carriers are free from infection, but a few obstinate carriers will continue to show the meningococcus for from six to twelve months. Mr. Murray suggests that if the running down of every carrier proves to be unprofitable, the alternative of searching out susceptibles, in the face of an epidemic, and attempting to raise their immunity, might be of value.

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